Union members picketed the civic centre as public sector workers across the borough went on strike.

Carers, social workers, refuse collectors, street cleaners, teaching assistants and teachers from several unions gathered outside Haringey Civic Centre on Thursday in protest at pay freezes and high living costs.

Members of UNISON, the public sector workers' union, formed an impromptu band to keep spirits up.

Sean Fox, Haringey UNISON branch secretary, said that the strike was “well supported”.

He said: “We closed more than half of the schools and seven out of nine libraries, so our members supported us very well.

“In terms of further action, we’re hoping to start talking to employers to avoid that, but if we do take further action it’ll be in the autumn.”

He added: “We don’t want to take action again unless we really have to.”